“Judge, have you ever discussed special counsel Mueller or his investigation with anyone?”
That’s how Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris began her grilling of Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, at a confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Coverage of Brett Kavanaugh on Globalnews.ca:
Harris wanted to know whether he discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election with anybody else.
Specifically, she wanted to know whether Kavanaugh had discussed it with anyone who works at Kasowitz Benson Torres — a law firm run by Marc Kasowitz, personal lawyer to the president.
WATCH: Kavanaugh clarifies if he spoke about Mueller at Trump’s lawyer’s law firm
Kavanaugh eventually affirmed that he had talked about the probe with someone, but he didn’t answer whether he discussed it with people who work at that firm.
Their exchange was captured on CPSAN:
This is how part of their discussion went down:
Harris: “Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson and Torres, the law firm founded by Mark Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer? Be sure about your answer, sir.”
Kavanaugh: “Well, I’m not remembering, but if you have something you want to…”
Harris: “Are you certain you’ve not had a conversation with anyone at that law firm?’
Kavanaugh: “Kasowitz, Benson…”
Harris: “Kasowitz, Benson and Torres, which is the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, who is President Trump’s personal lawyer, have you had any conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that firm? Yes or no?”
Kavanaugh: “Is there a person you’re talking about?”
Harris: “I’m asking you a very direct question, yes or no?”
Kavanaugh: “I’m not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm.”
Harris: “I don’t think you need to, I think you need to know who you talked with. Who’d you talk to?”
Kavanaugh: “I don’t think, I’m not remembering, but I’m happy to be refreshed, if you want to tell me…”
Harris’ grilling of Kavanaugh came on the second day of contentious hearings into the judge’s nomination.
The second day was dominated by issues such as gun rights and abortion.
The hearing was also repeatedly interrupted by protesters.
As Harris questioned Kavanaugh, Republican Sen. Mike Lee raised an objection before a heckler exclaimed, “You have a responsibility to all Americans! Vote no!”
A protester was subsequently escorted out of the hearing as she continued to shout, “Vote no, be a hero, vote no!”
Lee later began speaking again, but once more, protesters tried to drown him out, this time saying, “Answer the question! Answer the question!”
Democrats are concerned that Kavanaugh would move the bench further to the right.
Critics are concerned that he would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. — a decision he called settled law, according to Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
They’re also concerned about his stance on gun rights after he argued that a ban on assault weapons in the District of Columbia was unconstitutional.
He had argued that there is “no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing is to last a week.